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‘Gundam’ and ‘Cowboy Bebop’ studio Sunrise renamed under Bandai Namco restructuring

The studio behind 'Gundam', 'Cowboy Bebop', and other popular anime will lose its distinct branding amid Bandai Namco's consolidation.

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Sunrise, the legendary studio behind Mobile Suit Gundam and Cowboy Bebop, will be renamed Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. in April amid corporate-level restructuring at Bandai Namco Holdings.

The announcement precedes other forthcoming consolidations across the company’s international subsidiaries and the adoption of a new logo.

Founded in 1972 as Sunrise Studio, the 49-year old company is comprised of 16 studios and nearly 300 employees. They will join the “visual business operations” of Bandai Namco Arts Bandai Namco Rights Marketing on April 1. Sunrise Music, a subsidiary of the studio, will combine with the musical subsidiaries of Bandai Namco Arts and Bandai Namco Live Creative to form Bandai Namco Music Live Inc.

Sunrise president Makoto Asanuma will serve as president and representative director of Bandai Namco Filmworks.  Bandai Namco Arts president Satoshi Kono will become the Vice President and Bandai Namco Rights Marketing president Yoshitaka Tao will become the Managing Director for the studio.

Though this move reflects Bandai Namco’s apparent desire to cultivate a sense of cohesion at the brand and production levels, Sunrise was already in the process of bringing together its many departments under one roof. As Crunchyroll reports, the studio is in the process of moving into a new office, dubbed White Base.

In addition, despite the new Bandai Namco logo, representatives of Sunrise say the brand’s legacy isn’t going anywhere.

“The individuality of Sunrise, which we have refined over the past 40 years, shall continue to grow as one of our key brands,” a spokesperson for Sunrise told Crunchyroll.

“However, we also want to create a new distinctive identity with a different shade.”

We’ll see what exactly what they mean when the changes begin to take effect on April 1. 

About the author

Autumn Wright

Autumn Wright is an anime journalist, which is a real job. As a writer at We Got This Covered, they cover the biggest new seasonal releases, interview voice actors, and investigate labor practices in the global industry. Autumn can be found biking to queer punk through Brooklyn, and you can read more of their words in Polygon, WIRED, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.